15 Questions for religious and spiritual People – 1 Oct 12

Does spirituality need a teacher?

Does everybody need a spiritual teacher, a guru or, in other words, a life coach?

If your answer is “yes”, don’t you agree on giving up your self-confidence and pride and accept becoming someone’s slave?

Do you mean to say that those who don’t accept religion, a guru or the doctrine of a sect waste their lives?

Don’t you think that the basic reason for you to believe in religion, to follow a guru or to be a member of a sect is actually fear and even greed?

Don’t people embrace religion simply as a good way of doing wrong without a bad conscience?

Do you really believe you can buy blessings by giving donations to temples, churches or gurus, just like you buy rice on the market?

Don’t you think you play a role in creating a good future for yourself?

Is spirituality something that you can learn, like mathematics or commerce?

Don’t you think that being in Love and living with honesty is true spirituality?

Does a mother need a rosary to remember her child?

Does a wife need to sit in a certain pose to think of her husband?

Don’t you agree, if love is there, you don’t need to do any effort for meditation, it takes place itself?

Do we need to learn how to love?

Do we need to learn honesty?

If the answer is no, nobody needs to learn spirituality.

And we don’t need gurus, religions and sects to sell us spirituality!

I have said this many times before, too.

Spirituality is very individual, not institutional. Even if you don’t go into a temple or church, even if you don't do any rituals, you are spiritual, if you believe in love and honesty.

Businessman of Blessings – Fraud Guru Nirmal Baba exposed – 16 Apr 12

Read this article in Hindi

In the last days there has been a new guru in the media quite often. His name is Nirmal Baba and you may have seen his advertisement somewhere already. I actually had not known his name until my father came home from a meeting with a friend one day and told me that his friend’s son was ill. His friend had asked him ‘There is a guru who gives his blessing and who is getting famous because he has helped so many people. His name is Nirmal Baba. Should I go to him and ask him to bless my son so that he will get better?’ My father obviously replied that he should not do any such thing but consult a doctor. That is how I already thought that it is another guru who fools people.

I got to know more about him in the last weeks and there has also been more and more media coverage about this man whose birth name is Nirmaljeet Singh Narula. I read that he was trying several businesses but was not successful selling garments nor bricks and neither as a contractor. This is how he came into the guru business and finally got really lots of success. His facebook page, called Nirmalbaba, currently has over 345000 fans, more than 42500 people follow him on Twitter and he definitely earned quite a lot of money already.

On TV he himself said that he has a yearly turnover of 238 crore Rupees, which is more than 46 Million Dollar. You can imagine how much he has earned before that or on other accounts! Now let me finally tell you where this money comes from and how this man got so popular.

On 35 TV channels in India and abroad, he has bought time slots of half hours or full hours for his advertisement. I have told before that agents of spiritual channels have contacted me for this before, too, but that I denied. He gives a lecture on TV and then shows video excerpts from his programs, giving testimonies of people who were allegedly helped by his blessing. They report that all their problems were solved, that illnesses were cured and that business got better again just with his blessings. Everyone who would also like to attend such programs is given an account number and has to deposit 2000 Rupees there in advance. Nirmal Baba’s program, called ‘The third Eye of Nirmal Baba’, is booked out months in advance.

There are many people with a lot of different problems and then there is this man who claims to have supernatural powers which heal even problems like cancer or AIDS! Imagine how people run to him! I have never seen any of his programs but saw on that TV show and read about the method how he gives his ‘blessing’. People from the crowd get up and tell their problem like ‘I have constant pain in my belly’ and the reply of Nirmal Baba is ‘Give Idali and Dosa to your neighbours, you will get blessed’. He gives other ridiculous advice like ‘Put a 10 Rupee note into your purse and you will get blessed’. I saw in that small TV clip how he asked the audience ‘Open your eyes and purse’ and he would send blessings for money into the purse. He claims that he reads people’s minds, has the power of the third eye and can even bless you through TV. In this way he claims that things that one could not achieve in years will be done quickly after receiving his blessing.

If you want to have an even greater or more permanent blessing, he encourages people to give 10% of their income to him. He even creates fear: if you don’t give these 10% to him, you will experience financial loss!

"Nidhi

Nidhi – The actress who first revealed that questions from the audience are faked

What happens now, after he has become so successful, is that people finally get up and say that he is fraud. People come out and tell that they have paid money, got ridiculous advice and then nothing happened. I read that a junior artist, a young actress called Nidhi, told that she got 10000 Rupees per day to just be in the audience and ask a question or tell how much she was blessed. Other people tell that there are his own people in the crowd at the front and he only points at them to talk for testimonials and questions. It seems as though people now get aware that they were being cheated with funny advice.

The TV channel on which I was watching that show also shows his advertisement but stated clearly that this was a sold slot and that they are not responsible for the content nor do they approve of it. I just wonder why they then show his program at all? The answer is just greed and this, paired with superstition, is what this Nirmal Baba promotes.

There are still many superstitious people in India and many people who are educated but still believe in such nonsense. In this country there are even today cases in which women are burnt alive for the accusation of being witches and cases in which children are sacrificed in rituals performed to get supernatural powers. In newspapers here you can still see advertisement for penis enlargement pills, oils and devices! There are people who do this business and who obviously have the money to advertise in newspapers. They don’t have that much to buy a slot on TV but if they did, they would sell more. There are people who buy that! In the same way there are people who go to Nirmal Baba’s program although you can read now everywhere that he is just fraud!

I am happy that the media shows program against him now but I also think they should have been more responsible in the first place. You know that it is fake, that AIDS and cancer cannot be healed by a blessing, be that in person or through TV, so why do you show this at all, even if you get money for it? Where was the Ministry of India for Information and Broadcasting? They control TV channels but they did not take notice of this high level fraud business! This man is fooling the public, so it is of public interest not to show those things which create superstition and greed in people! If media had not supported him, he would not even have reached where he is now. Now they are thinking to stop his advertisement. Now they are showing programs against him but who brought him there? If they had felt responsible before and had refused to show such program, not so many people would have got cheated. It is only money, they were more greedy than feeling responsible. But where will this take India? A country that prefers money and superstition to education and responsible behavior?

I read that people started going to the police to report that they were cheated. I would like to encourage those people who have been to Nirmal Baba to stand up, follow their example and tell that you have been cheated. I know it is for many not easy to admit that. If someone bought a device for penis enlargement, he would never admit that it did not work because he would look funny. Just like that, people who have paid 2000 Rupees to Nirmal Baba say that they were so blessed because they cannot admit that they were just fooled and nothing happened. If thousands of people come out though, it will have an impact!

I believe it already had an impact that so many people are now writing about him – he was on a TV interview, in which he tried to defend himself. In reality however he looked insecure and could not even properly answer the questions of the journalist. He avoided directly answering and instead claimed again that he has supernatural powers. With those powers however he obviously could not keep people from speaking out against him.

When the first articles against him came out online, the legal team of his organization was obviously quick to go to court. I read that they removed an article on the website ‘hubpages’ which was not written in favour of Nirmal Baba but allegedly called him fraud. Another website however, an Indian website, stated that hubpages simply had no lawyer in India and did not care about the removal very much. They, also having been asked to remove their article about Nirmal Baba, refused and mentioned that they would fight in court for the right to write with freedom. I want to thank them for their courage.

I have had this kind of situations before, too. I have written about Kumar Swami before and we were sent threats of legal action in many different ways but until now nobody came and actually sued me. Why? Because I simply wrote the truth. Kumar Swami’s business is also still going on. He recently gave advertisement in newspapers again – in the same style as before, claiming he can heal everything. He is just another Nirmal Baba.

There are so many fraud people like Kumar Swami and Nirmal Baba who suck money from people due to their belief. They claim whatever they can, whether that is true or not and people run to them in the hope to get help. Don’t fall for any such scam. Use your head and intelligence and accept that you have to take responsibility for your life. You can make a change, nobody else can do that for you.

Misuse of Dowry Law – Change in Society necessary – 31 Mar 11

Yesterday I wrote to you about the bad situation that some women are in when they marry into a family that was actually only keen on getting a big dowry. Some of you rightly asked whether there was no way for these girls to go to court for this. There are laws against dowry of course but unfortunately even those are now being misused.

The law against dowry was passed in 1961 already. Isn’t it horrible that in this long time, now 50 years, it was not possible to erase this idea from this society? There have been several changes to this law and in the beginning they made it stricter. For the first seven years of marriage a woman has the right to go to the police and file charges against the family she married into.

I admire every woman who enforced her right and went to the police after her husband and his family harassed her in such a way. There have been cases in which girls went to the police to turn their grooms in for demanding a high dowry and for physically harassing them. The grooms and the complete family in those cases have to face investigations and can go to jail. It is good to see for those cases how law could do something good.

Another fact is however that this law has also been misused many times. Not only grooms’ families can be greedy, brides’ families, too, do criminal efforts in order to get more money. There have been cases in which a girl married a boy and without the family doing anything wrong towards her, she went to the police, claiming that she was asked for money, for a dowry by the boy and his family. In those cases the police went to investigate and the whole family of the boy had to fight for getting justice and not having to pay money to the girl’s family or even going to jail. If the girl states she had already given thousands of Rupees for her dowry, the boy first has to prove that she did not. The bride and her family often blackmail the groom and his family with the threat of going to the police if they don’t pay them money. The groom, afraid of having to go to jail, often pays and this for a whole life long.

Due to such abuse of the law, they had to loosen the law again. Isn’t it crazy that there is a law that should protect you and you go and use it the other way around?

My family has had their own experience of the misuse of this law. My brother got married in the traditional way with an arranged marriage. In that time the family chose a girl from a poor family to give her a good life. They did not have any money, not to mention any dowry. We never had the wish to take a dowry and my family paid for everything for both sides, the wedding, the girl’s dress and simply everything. The marriage did not last. The girl and her family were not nice to our family. They ran away with lots of jewelry, some of which had been presents from my family and some of which was stolen from our home. My brother filed a case for divorce and they filed a case for dowry. Needless to say how much we suffered from this whole episode.

I can only repeat it: we need to finish this complete system from this society as it makes it sick, brings much pain and hurt to people, increases the greed in each person involved and makes an occasion that should be filled with love, a simple business matter.

Creating Greed for Donations – A Popular Idea of Religion – 9 Feb 11

When writing the diary entries of the last days, I had a thought which is in a way very ironic. Religions, gurus and many more persons and institutions claim that they help people to live according to moral values. They preach to whoever wants to listen and talk a lot for all the virtues and against all the vice that we find in humans. On the other hand however they keep encouraging greed and are very often greedy themselves.

It is not the first time that I write about the greed of religions and religious leaders but maybe the first time that I write about the greed that they create in their followers.

Why exactly would anybody give a donation to a temple or a guru? To get blessings. Blessings for what? To achieve something bigger or to get something which is unlikely or difficult to achieve or to get. To sum it up, they think they can take a shortcut. They don’t want to go the whole way and try to find a shorter way.

I don’t know exactly whether this happens in other religions, too, but I know very exactly how it happens in Hinduism. Whatever you are wishing for, you only need to ask a priest or at a temple and they will tell you a certain pooja, a certain ritual or a certain prayer which you will have to do, often with them or at their temple. Every of these rituals or ceremonies has its price. Again and again, you find the same system: if you have a big wish, a bigger ceremony or more important prayers are necessary which obviously cost more. The conclusion is, if you want to have one million, you have to spend ten thousand first.

If you do this, you will get that. These rules are made by the writers of scriptures and founders and leaders of religion. They can show you the proof of what they say in their scriptures. There you will see written, black on white, if you do this ritual, you will get that benefit. So first of all they preach from these scriptures, create greed in people to get all those benefits and afterwards offer them to do the rituals for them. It is a full business.

They make people think ‘Okay, if I anyway get a million afterwards, I can spend ten thousand now, afterwards I will have much more.’ Instead we have to let people know that there are no such shortcuts. They have to learn to trust themselves and they have to realize that God does not love any priest or guru more than them. Do work and believe that God does only what is best for you.

Karma Yoga for Kapha Dosha and Greed – 30 Jul 08

Yesterday I talked about Pitta and today I would like to talk about Kapha. If Kapha is too much in your body, it can show in greed. There are people who are very materialistic and who try to collect how much they can. It seems that they think they can take it with them when they go from this world. They will leave everything here. You came with empty hands and you will go with empty hands. What you got here you will leave here. Many people collect material things and cannot even enjoy it because they are busy in collecting more. There is so much greed ‘I need this and I want to have that, too’.

I said Karma Yoga can help with this. In Karma Yoga your action is for others. You don’t do anything for yourself and you do not expect to get the fruit, the result of your actions. I have written about this already in my diary. The Gita says that what you do, your actions, are in your hands but you shouldn’t expect to get anything back from it. And as I said in that time, many people expect a fruit in advance, before they do something, others think they get a fruit without doing anything. In Karma Yoga however you give, you offer what you do. That is why I said that against greed you should do Karma Yoga. You will learn not to collect but to give to others. I know it can be difficult but it is how it is with everything: When you have the strong wish to make it, you will manage!

Doshas and their Connection to Gyan, Karma and Bhakti Yoga – 28 Jul 08

The last two days I talked about texts of scriptures and today, too, I would like to explain a little bit based on a scripture. You may know that in Ayurveda there are three doshas, three body types called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Everybody has all three of them inside and each of us is of a certain body type. If you analyze and study yourself you can reach a point where you yourself can realize which body type you are. If you go to an Ayurvedic doctor, he will also tell you which type you are. However you have all three types in you all the time and if they are imbalanced, problems and diseases in the body are created.

In a spiritual way it is said that the negative side of Vata is lust and desire, of Pitta it is anger or aggression and for Kapha it is greed. These are basic emotions that everybody has. You cannot remove them, the body is made of Vata, Kapha and Pitta and thus lust, anger and greed are also there. Who can deny this? We need to keep a nice balance in the doshas. In different situations, circumstances and times of your life, one of the three can be more powerful and dominant. Sometimes our desire comes up, sometimes our aggression. And there are different ways to treat problems with each dosha.

If you have a problem with Pitta, Gyan Yoga will be a good spiritual path. For those who are presently too much in Kapha, in greed, Karma Yoga will be the right remedy. If you are in Vata, Bhakti or Prem Yoga, love and devotion is the right solution. I will tell more about this in the next days.